[Coral-List] 'Internships'

arianna bucci ariannabucci at yahoo.it
Fri Mar 17 12:15:20 EDT 2017

I agree with Will Nuckols, who, from my point of view, perfectly defines the problem. The "mislabelling" of a donation of an expertise (or time) as an "internship" is confusing to many early career students or professionals, is unfair, and, technically, is a fraud.
There's an uncovered idea behind these kind of "educational experiences" (without underestimating the inner value of the experience itself), which is that since your is a vocational job, carried out in a nice place while you enjoy the experience, you do not deserve to be paid for your time and effort. I call it exploitation of enthusiasm.
And there's an added problem behind most of the institutions, organizations, or individuals which offer these kind of "opportunities" to take part in a project: the fact that, without the volunteers (who are not actually aware of being charity donors) the project cannot be done because of the lack of resources. I.e., the project is poorly designed and managed. That means that the "intern" is learning from someone who is not a good professional in his own job. To become a good scientist (or educator, or other professional) you need to learn and know how to properly manage a project. If you are unable to find a way to fundraise to make a project work, just do something else, or at least do not pretend to be an instructor. 
Arianna Bucci, PhD

      Da: Will Nuckols <wnuckols at erols.com>
 A: steven.carrion <steven.carrion at knights.ucf.edu>; "s1681966 at sms.ed.ac.uk" <s1681966 at sms.ed.ac.uk>; Coral -List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> 
 Inviato: Giovedì 16 Marzo 2017 21:36
 Oggetto: Re: [Coral-List] 'Internships'
If it is an education opportunity that a student is paying for, that is a
class, and should be structured with appropriate instruction and have
expectations for educational outcomes like any other course. Educational
goals, and the credentials of the instructors, should be provided in
advance, information which a student could convey to a future school or
employer to explain how the course furthered their education.

If a student undertakes an opportunity and supports themselves while
giving to a worthy cause, that is an act of charity, not an internship.
I¹ve donated pro bono expertise over the years and can tell you that
unpaid work is a donation, even if one learns something in the process.
Donated cash and expertise is not a vacation - lets not devalue the
contributions by flippant labels. Still, they are donations.

An internship that serves an academic function is altogether different.

Schools and employers can use whatever filters they choose to evaluate
whether the value an academic internship is the same as donated labor for
a charitable cause, but institutions should label these experiences fairly
so schools and employers can understand the nature of the experiences and
make judgements accordingly.

It is a reality that without outside funding some organizations may be
unable to achieve their missions. That¹s not a good excuse to mislabel
their experiences.  Asking for donations of expertise and hard cash is
fine, and those who are able to make donations should be encouraged to do
so. Its important to donate to worthy causes, but the worthiness of the
cause doesn¹t forgive improper labeling of the activity.

Building a program that supports an ethic that includes charity is a
valuable life experience for both students and career professionals. But
lets not confuse those activities with internships in an academic sense,
lest we devalue the programs that are run as proper academic internships.

Interns are students. They should not treated as donors unless you are
willing to give them credit for their philanthropy.

Will Nuckols 

On 3/15/17, 2:03 PM, "steven.carrion"
<coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of
steven.carrion at knights.ucf.edu> wrote:

>Hello Coral-list,
>I have long wanted to provide some input on this, especially since I
>don't think many students comment on these listservs. As a graduate
>student who is working to become a fully fledged scientist one day in
>academia it has been disheartening to see many organizations seemingly
>working to exploit the labor of starry-eyed students. If I were to
>estimate, I would say 75% of the opportunities I see advertised require a
>student to pay several thousands to participate in a rather short
>'internship' of usually two to four weeks [and I don't think the benefits
>out-weight these costs].
>As an undergraduate student I led a research society at my university and
>I remember hearing from many students wanting to become involved in
>research say things like "I cannot afford to have an unpaid internship"
>or "I don't have money, I can't do that stuff". Research and scientific
>progress should be guided by merit, not if your parents have enough money
>to fund such pricey 'internships'- and especially not to compensate for a
>student's lack of merit. What does it mean for science when only students
>from well-off families can afford to participate in these internships?
>It is understandable that some institutions cannot afford to financially
>assist students so by providing unpaid internships it can open up
>opportunities that would otherwise not be available. This isn't
>necessarily bad. These can be potentially funded through grants or
>scholarship money. However, its unfair to an exploitative point to expect
>students to not only pay for travel and living costs, but also an
>absurdly high fee to even partake in the opportunity. Some internships
>with  organizations I have seen require a student to work full-time, no
>benefits, and no pay. I have also seen an organization which actually
>charges students several thousands of USD so that students are able to
>complete their dissertation projects with them. The pay for play
>'internship' opportunities are just plain sad and absurd.
>Best Regards,
>Steven Carrion
>From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
><coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov> on behalf of Lescinsky, Halard
><hlescinsky at otterbein.edu>
>Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:36 AM
>To: Damien Beri
>Cc: Coral -List
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Summer Coral Reef Internship in Roatan
>As a Professor at a primarily undergraduate institution where we are
>continuously helping students find summer internships, I'd like to respond
>to Damien's email.  In the US the general definition of an internship is
>that it should be free to the student or perhaps paid.  From a student
>point of view, paid internships are of course better, but they are much
>rarer and more difficult to get.  Free (volunteer) internships are pretty
>typical, and those internships often don't include travel or housing
>stipends, making them a significant out of pocket expense.  But even if
>they are totally free to the student they still exert an economic filter
>since most of my students need to make money over the summer to help
>contribute to their fall tuition.  They simply can't afford to spend a
>summer without racking up cash.  The reality (at least in the US) is that
>the educational system is far from economically fair and students have to
>constantly weigh how much to spend now (on tuition, doing "unpaid
>internships", accruing student loans) in order to invest in their futures.
>The playing field is no where near even.
>      I don't begrudge any institution from offering any opportunity to
>students who are looking for experience, but I do agree with Damien, that
>if students are paying what is essentially a tuition fee (including
>classroom fees!), calling it an internship is problematic- since it
>violates the general definition of the term.  On the other hand, it may
>be an organized course in the traditional sense either, and I have little
>doubt that part of the driving force is that students prefer the term
>"internship" on their resume because it seems to imply a higher level of
>selection and seriousness.
>      My guess is that the Roatan opportunity is much like what many
>non-profits do.  They offer "volunteer" positions for which participants
>pay more than their costs, and the participants feel good about helping,
>and the NGOs explicitly view it as a fund raising activity.  These are
>win-win opportunities for the participants and programs so I see no
>with them, but they are certainly not internships in the traditional
>Hal Lescinsky
>Otterbein University
>On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 10:41 PM, Damien Beri <beridl at g.cofc.edu> wrote:
>> Dear Coral List,
>> I opt to negotiate the terms in which we decide something is eligible to
>> be called an internship on this list.  An internship should not cost
>> money.  3000$ for eligibility for an internship is elitist.  It doesn¹t
>> matter if its for room & board, travel, or what not.  The internship
>> be offered to students of the prospective area of study, if room &
>>board +
>> travel are included in the internship offerers budget.  While I
>> coral reef research requires various types of external forms of funding
>> function, due to lack of said funding.  It is simply wrong to offer such
>> opportunities to those with the merits afforded by monitory exchanges,
>> the situation in which you were raised that offered you the ability to
>> receive such scholarly merits or funding to attend such an internship.
>> am sure many will agree with this point, and I am sure even more will
>> disagree.  I however feel that this email chain should be open to this
>> discussion.
>> Thank you,
>> Warm regards,
>> D
>> On Mar 13, 2017, at 4:57 PM, RIMS Internship <internship at roatanims.org>
>> wrote:
>> > There are just a few weeks left until the March 31st application
>> deadline.
>> > Please share this information with students and other educators who
>> be
>> > interested!
>> >
>> >
>> > *CORAL REEF RESEARCH INTERNSHIP IN ROATAN (July 22 ­August 19, 2017)*
>> >
>> >
>> > *PROGRAM LOCATION:  *The Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS),
>> > Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras.
>> >
>> >
>> > The Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) is excited to offer a
>> > 4-week long Coral Reef Research Internship this summer.  If you are
>> > interested in coral reef ecology and conservation, this internship
>> > provide a unique opportunity to live on a small Caribbean island and
>> > valuable field research experience on one of the most biologically
>> diverse
>> > and well-developed reefs in the Caribbean.
>> >
>> > RIMS was founded in 1989 with the primary objective of protecting
>> Roatan¹s
>> > natural resources through education and research.  In almost three
>> decades
>> > our facility has established itself as a dedicated teaching
>> and
>> > we are visited throughout the year by colleges and universities from
>> abroad
>> > to study tropical marine ecosystems.  Our facility is ideally located
>> > the northwest coast of Roatan with easy access to miles of fringing
>> > barrier reef, seagrass beds, and mangrove communities.
>> >
>> >
>> > *INTERNSHIP DATES:* The 4-week internship will run from July 22
>> > August 19, 2017.
>> >
>> >
>> > *ELIGIBILITY:  *The program will be limited to 12 interns and is open
>> > upper level undergraduate students or recent graduates with a genuine
>> > interest in coral reef ecosystems. Students must be 18 years old at
>> > start of the internship and SCUBA certified.  We do not offer course
>> credit
>> > for the program, but due to the intensive structure of the course, we
>> > encourage successful applicants to arrange for independent studies or
>> > undergraduate research credit through their home institution.
>> >
>> >
>> > *INTERNSHIP DESCRIPTION:*  During the 4 weeks spent on Roatan,
>> > will interact with staff experts and visiting faculty as they
>> > and explore a variety of coral reef environments.  Through lectures,
>> > visits and practical field exercises, students will learn the flora
>> > fauna of the region and understand the roles of different ecological
>> > processes on a coral reef.
>> >
>> >
>> > Through collaborative research activities, mentorship and independent
>> > research projects, students will receive direct exposure to reef
>> monitoring
>> > methods, as they develop, implement and communicate their own
>> In
>> > addition to the academic and research opportunities our program
>> > interns will also gain important cultural and social development. This
>> > internship is a chance of a lifetime and the transformative
>> > students will be exposed to can contribute to personal growth and
>> > advancement.
>> >
>> > Under the direction of professional mentors and marine biologists and
>> > staff, students will engage in a wide variety of activities and gain
>> > experience in the:
>> >
>> >  - Field experience in the Identification of Caribbean coral, fish,
>> >  invertebrates and algal species
>> >  - Application of field research methods to assess coral cover,
>> >  abundance, and reef health
>> >  - Development and implementation of an independent research project.
>> >  - Participation in reef restoration projects and maintenance and
>> >  monitoring of our coral nurseries.
>> >  - Management of invasive lionfish populations through collaboration
>> with
>> >  the Roatan Marine Park.
>> >  - Participation in field trips on and around Roatan.
>> >  - Interaction with local conservation professionals.
>> >
>> > *COURSE FEE:*  The fee for the course is *$2975.00 USD*.  The fee
>> includes
>> > full room & board, diving, tanks and weights, lab and classroom fees,
>> > airport transfers, off site field excursions and all applicable taxes.
>> >
>> > *APPLICATION DEADLINE*:  Applications are due by March 31st, 2017..
>> > Applications will not be accepted if all the required forms have not
>> > received.
>> >
>> > For more information about the Coral Reef Research Internship at RIMS
>> > to access the *Application Form* please visit our webpage at:
>> > www.roatanims.org<http://www.roatanims.org>
>Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences | Roatan |
>A Caribbean Marine Laboratory dedicated to the preservation of Roatan's
>natural resources through education and research.
>> >
>> > *CONTACT INFORMATION:*  For more information or questions about the
>> > internship please contact:
>> > Jennifer Keck
>> > Education & Research Coordinator
>> > Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences
>> > internship at roatanims.org
>> > 011-504 9556-0212 <+504%209556-0212>
>> > www.roatanims.org<http://www.roatanims.org>
>Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences | Roatan |
>A Caribbean Marine Laboratory dedicated to the preservation of Roatan's
>natural resources through education and research.
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Coral-List mailing list
>> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>Coral-List Info 
>Coral-List is funded by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and NOAA's
>Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and therefore
>adopts and is guided by ...
>> _______________________________________________
>> Coral-List mailing list
>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>Coral-List Info 
>Coral-List is funded by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and NOAA's
>Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and therefore
>adopts and is guided by ...
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Coral-List Info 
>Coral-List is funded by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and NOAA's
>Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and therefore
>adopts and is guided by ...
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov


More information about the Coral-List mailing list